LINCOLN – Nebraska played its most complete game of the young season, and Hannah Whitish joined the Huskers’ 1,000-point club as the Big Red rolled to a 73-39 women’s basketball win over defending SWAC champion Southern on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers improved to 5-0 with their second win of the year over a 2019 NCAA Tournament team, while the Jaguars slipped to 2-3 on the young season.
Nebraska started fast, jumping to a quick 6-0 lead, before Southern cut the margin to 8-5 at the first media timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Whitish knocked down a 15-foot jumper near the elbow to become the 33rd Husker in history to reach 1,000 points. The 5-9 senior guard from Barneveld, Wis., finished with eight points, five rebounds and five assists in a solid all-around effort.
Nebraska’s lead continued to grow, as Whitish buried a pair of threes early in the second quarter to help the Husker margin balloon to 30-14 with 3:48 left in the half, before the Big Red headed to the locker room with a 35-19 edge.
The Huskers focused on playing four strong quarters and erupted from the locker room on a 13-0 run that featured eight straight points including a pair of threes from sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa finished with 12 points and eight rebounds on the night. Nebraska closed the quarter by outscoring the Jaguars 20-5 to take a 55-24 lead to the fourth quarter.
Leigha Brown produced her fifth straight game in double figures to open the season with a game-high 16 points, while adding four rebounds. Fellow sophomore Sam Haiby gave Nebraska three players in double figures with 10 points, four assists and two steals.
Senior forward Grace Mitchell added one of the best nights of her career with nine points and five rebounds off the bench while burying 2-of-3 three-pointers.
Overall, Nebraska knocked down 8-of-20 threes (.400) and hit 27-of-57 field goals (.474) on the night. The Huskers also hit 11-of-17 free throws (.647). The Big Red out-rebounded the Jags, 43-32, and the won the turnover battle, 13-8, while committing just one turnover in the second half.
The Huskers held Southern to just 26.4 percent (14-53) shooting from the field, including 20 percent (4-20) from three-point range. The Jags did hit 7-of-10 free throws. Amani McWain was the only Jaguar to manage double figures with 15 points, while Brittany Rose contributed eight points.
All 10 Huskers who played in the game scored at least two points and grabbed at least one rebound, while eight Huskers had at least one assist.
Nebraska completes its four-game home stand by taking on in-state rival Creighton on Sunday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off with the Bluejays is set for 2 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com.